The 2012 Olympics success, England retaining The Ashes, British riders dominating the Tour de France - this is without doubt a golden period for sport in this country. Hire Space is here to honour our nation's success, as well as providing a host of brilliant facilities for the next generation of budding sports stars. James Roche brings you 5 London Sports Halls to hire.
Vale Farm Sports Centre
When the North London Academy of Bird Watchers took on the Obscure Comic Book Reading Society of Southend in their annual Football clash, they had only one venue in mind ... the grassy knoll behind my block of flats. If only they had known about the full size pitch available for hire at Vale Farm Sports Centre!
With full boardings around the pitch and its very own dugout, this space is ideal for football and touch rugby. Allergic to grass? Try Zirtek. The Vale Farm Sports Centre also has a full sized artificial pitch available for hire which can be split into three seven-a-side pitches.
With sports hall, dojo, and dance studio also featured, as well as its own conference room, this versatile north west London venue is perfect for small or large events.
Speaking of versatile, have you seen the sports hall at Westminster Academy? The four badminton court facility has a polyurethane sports surface and can host a variety of activities such as badminton, basketball, five-a-side football, volleyball, floorball, futsal and table tennis - all at the same time if you really wanted to!
Feel like stepping outside for a game? The Westminster Academy Sport has a tennis court and several netball courts for hire as well as being home to London's first and the world's largest purpose-built Parkour facility. The venue also houses some of the city's best six and eight-a-side 3G football pitches, floodlit and covered by the Westway flyover (making it perfect for all-year-round play).
I was introduced to the magic of Capoeira via a street performing troupe during my trip to Brazil. The skill and athleticism, the flair and acrobatic beauty of this martial arts-based dance ... if the short, buck-toothed kid behind me hadn't pinched my man purse while I was clapping along, I may have stayed a bit longer to watch. Luckily for me, and all London residents, Capoeira is just one of the many activities available at The Petchey Academy Sports Club, Dalston.
Facilities for hire also include a superb Floodlit Astroturf Sports Area, Group Exercise Dance Studio, as well as classrooms for general use. Throw in an Indoor Sports Hall that regularly plays host to badminton, basketball, five-a-side football, netball, volleyball and table tennis, and you've got yourself an absolute gem of an events space.
When people think of sports halls, they tend to picture dark, out-of-the-way spaces, usually located in industrial areas and oddly smelling of cheap disinfectant. Or that could be just me. Regardless, you'll be hard pressed finding a more centrally located and impressive sports hall than the one at Pimlico Academy.
While this multi-purpose venue was featured in our last blog, we just had to include it again when listing some of London's top sports halls. Spacious, well-lit and extensively marked to cover a host of indoor sports, the Pimlico Academy Sports Hall provides the perfect accompaniment to its remaining event spaces, including the auditorium, theatre, dance studio and meeting rooms.
Keen to "spice up your life?" Move over "wannabe" venues - Mill Hill School is here to provide an events space for just about any sporting contest or performance you could imagine. OK, so the Spice Girls song references don't relate to Mill Hill directly, but it's been a year since Britain's favourite 90s pop act tore it up at the London Olympics closing ceremony and if that doesn't inspire you to hire the theatre space at Mill Hill and stage your own Danny Boyle-style epic, then I don't know what will!
Dance and performance space aside, Mill Hill School is home to some of the UK's best indoor and outdoor facilities. Its comprehensive sports centre has a swimming pool, tennis courts, fully equipped gym, weights room, astroturf, indoor cricket nets and a large sports hall, making it an ideal venue, all-year round. It's the type of place Sporty Spice would love to call home (and apparently did, under a tree next to the cricket field, during a lean period in the late 90s*).
The magnificent location of this venue also makes Mill Hill School a popular choice for weddings and film locations. Make a booking today!
*Yet to be confirmed. May in fact, be a lie.
That's it for this week. If you're Sporty Spice, don't sue us. We're just pleased that vociferous Aussie JR has publicly announced the Ashes loss unprompted. Acceptance is the first step. Everyone else, check out the Hire Space website for more information on these and other fantastic venues.